Madelaine & Mocha the Wishing Stone by Vivian Munnoch
Sometimes Madelaine feels like Mocha is her only friend.
She has always felt nervous in large groups and has trouble making friends at school.
Mostly the other kids don’t want to hang around with her because they are busy with their other friends. They all have their little groups and she isn’t in any of them.
She is always the outsider looking in and lonely.
She had tried asking them to let her join them and they always have some excuse. She knows the excuses are lies.
“Mocha, you are my only real friend,” she thinks miserably. “Now you are gone, maybe forever, and it’s my fault. I should have tied you up like Mom told me to.”
“Oh Mocha,” Madelaine whimpers under her breath in despair, afraid for the little dog.
Hearing her whimper, Clive tightens his arm around her shoulder, trying to give her some comfort.
“I am so tired,” Madelaine thinks. “I just want to stop, to give up searching for Mocha and quit, to lie down and rest. It feels so hopeless. We will never find Mocha in the dark.”
“Don’t you dare give up on her, Madelaine,” she chastises herself silently. “Mocha would never give up on you, so you do not give up on her. Got it?”
She nods to herself, pushing on with her resolve to find Mocha before anything bad happens to the little dog.
“But what if something bad has already happened?”
to be continue ...
The doubt creeps back in like an insidious claw, reaching and grasping, about to snatch Mocha away from her forever.
The thought of little Mocha coming face to face with a bear, wolf, or coyote fills Madelaine with an icy cold dread.
She can almost feel the sharp teeth ripping through her own flesh, the bear claws tearing at her to leave large ugly gashes behind.
She swallows hard, trying to swallow the lump of tears pushing up her throat.
“Come on Madelaine,” she tells herself, “you can do this. Be strong for Mocha.”
Chilled by her thoughts and fears, she pulls her jacket tighter around her and keeps plodding on through the dark, the light of her flashlight wobbling on the ground ahead of her, leading the way.
The heavier footsteps of her father beside her give her little comfort.
She keeps going on despite the feelings of hopelessness and the urge to give up.
It feels like they have been walking and calling forever, looking for Mocha. Her throat is sore and her voice hoarse. . Her mom is searching with her younger sister Zoe.
Madelaine hears a sound and pauses, swinging the flashlight around to see.
“What is it?” Clive asks, pausing next to her.
“I heard something.”
To be continued...